It is probably the post under played topic of concern- for those that have never done it- separation from a partner or family.
1996, married, two young daughters. Endured 11 years of abuse from my then wife. I walked (indirectly forced) out the door and purchased a small caravan to take up a location in a caravan park. In my mind I'd been forced from the family home. I just could not live with that evil woman any longer. So what price was to be paid for this decision?
My children lost their full time dad, I lost- my full time parenthood, my home, my neighbours, my dog, my town (I could not afford to live so far from work anymore) etc. I began to endure the child support system and start life again.
I returned to work and my colleague hardly responded. My mates tried to see reason and tried to get me to return home. I knew I couldnt. This period was mid 1990's and I hadnt (yet) been diagnosed with any mental issues.
I look back upon that period and realise now that I suffered enormous grief for many months. I purchased a block of land and sought the opinion of colours for my future home -from my estranged wife as I grieved so much for my kids.
After I separated I walked through a park and saw a man sitting at a folding table. The sign on the table read DIDS. I enquired. He told me it meant "Dads in distress". He then went on to tells me some extraordinary facts like - that suicides are more than the National road toll. WHAT??? In fact its around double with males taking about 77% of this (2010 stats)
Thank God for DIDS, Beyond Blue, Lifeline and other organisations dedicated to saving the souls that lean that way. It doesnt matter if you are the person that left or the person being left the trauma can be equally devastating. Male or female....doesnt matter. It will take time to adjust and in those few early weeks your will to keep going will likely be tested. We dont have statistics on grief, the levels of grief etc...so many people in distress , alone and vulnerable.
So some ideas.
1/ Time: take some time to readjust. Allow yourself to grieve. Dont be too hard on yourself
2/ Value you own parenthood. You cannot be replaced as one parent of your children. You are equally important to your children as the other parent.
3/ Take care of yourself. Go to your GP, discuss your issues, take medication for relevant issues like depression and anxiety,..its all in the process of getting over this period.
4/ Plan your future.
5/ Stay proud. It doesnt mean you are at fault.